This article is part of a larger series on Accounting Software.
QuickBooks Live matches QuickBooks Online users with a dedicated QuickBooks Online ProAdvisor that will help you get your books up-to-date and then will do the basic monthly bookkeeping tasks of categorizing your monthly expenses and reconciling your bank accounts. Since QuickBooks Live is owned by QuickBooks, you can rest assured you’re getting the highest quality QuickBooks assistance available. Even if you’re capable of performing these tasks yourself, QuickBooks Live can do it better and faster for as little as $200 per month, so you can focus on managing your business.
8 Ways QuickBooks Live Will Save You Time & Money
Before dismissing QuickBooks Live as unnecessary or too expensive, think about the opportunity cost of performing your own bookkeeping. You might think doing your own bookkeeping is free, but is it really? What else could you be doing if you weren’t spending time on bookkeeping? If you typically charge customers $80 per hour, and you’re spending just 10 hours a month on bookkeeping, you’re missing out on $800 of revenue.
Here are the top ways that QuickBooks Live will save you time and money.
1. Dedicated QuickBooks Contact
Even though QuickBooks Online is easy to use, you’ll most likely have questions while you’re learning to use it. With QuickBooks Live, you’ll be assigned a dedicated QuickBooks ProAdvisor that will handle your account. You’ll contact them if you have any questions. You won’t have to start each conversation from scratch, as they’ll know all about your business. That will save a lot of time and frustration.
2. Year-Round Assistance
QuickBooks Live will help you year-round. Too many business owners waste their time doing bookkeeping during the year, only to have to pay a professional to fix everything at tax time. Not only is this inefficient, your books are only accurate once per year. With a ProAdvisor keeping your books, you’ll have accurate numbers anytime you need them.
3. Transactions Are Imported and Categorized Automatically
The days when expenses and income had to be entered manually are over. QuickBooks users can connect their bank and credit card accounts to have transactions transferred automatically. With QuickBooks Live, your ProAdvisor will manage the bank connections and classify the transactions as they’re transferred. Of course, you’ll have the opportunity to change their classifications, and they’ll ask you if they’re unsure of a category.
4. Eliminate NSF Charges
By tracking your bank account transactions and reconciling them monthly, QuickBooks Live allows you to always know exactly how much money you have available in your account.
5. Professional Up-to-Date Financial Statements
Good books are not just for tax returns. Banks and insurance companies will often request financial statements from small companies, and you can impress them by immediately providing up-to-date statements for the prior month.
6. Reduce Tax Preparation Fees
The reduction in tax preparation fees alone might pay for your QuickBooks Live subscription. As an experienced tax professional, I can tell you with 100% certainty that the time spent cleaning up a client’s books far outweighs the amount of time actually spent preparing the tax return. Thanks to your QuickBooks Live ProAdvisor, your tax accountant can use your financial statements to prepare your tax return with very little extra work.
7. Leading Small Business Accounting Software
QuickBooks Live works exclusively with QuickBooks Online, which we rate as the Best Small Business Accounting Software and dominates the market for such software. If you’ve outgrown your spreadsheets or free accounting software, QuickBooks Live will make it easy to get set up and start using QuickBooks Online. QuickBooks Live will help you with the process by setting up your chart of accounts and transferring your prior transactions. You can learn more about the features of QuickBooks Online in our detailed review or learn about its most popular uses in What is QuickBooks.
8. QuickBooks Live Has Your Back
You’re still in charge of your books. You’ll need to invoice customers, accept payments from customers, and pay bills, among other things. However, you can schedule multiple monthly meetings with your dedicated bookkeeper for assistance in learning how to do these and other basic bookkeeping tasks.
How QuickBooks Live Works
QuickBooks Live requires a subscription to QuickBooks Online. Once subscribed to QuickBooks Online, you can activate QuickBooks Live easily, schedule a meeting with your QuickBooks ProAdvisor and be on your way to clean, worry-free accounting.
Subscribe to QuickBooks Online
If you don’t already have a subscription to QuickBooks Online, you can visit QuickBooks Online and easily sign up. New users can choose between a free 30-day trial or 50% off for three months. If you need help choosing between Simple Start, Essentials, and Plus, you can read our comparison of QuickBooks Online plans. QuickBooks Live doesn’t support QuickBooks Self-Employed, so be sure to choose the Simple Start or higher plan.
Activate QuickBooks Live and Schedule a Consultation
You can activate Quickbooks Live from the left menu bar of your QuickBooks Online account by clicking on Live Bookkeeping:
The next screen allows you to schedule a consultation by clicking on the green Get a free consultation button:
You can schedule your consultation by chat, telephone, or choose your date and time in their online scheduler.
Cleanup Existing Bookkeeping
Once you’ve completed the initial consultation and chosen the plan and a ProAdvisor that best suits your business needs, the first task will be to get your business set up in QuickBooks Online. If you’re brand new to QuickBooks Online your ProAdvisor will help you customize your books from scratch and then bring over any existing financial information into QuickBooks Online. Once all the information is in QuickBooks Online, they’ll bring everything up-to-date and provide you with current financial statements.
Once your existing bookkeeping is clean and up-to-date, you’ll settle into your monthly bookkeeping routine. Your ProAdvisor will use a bank feed to import all of your banking activity from both bank and credit card accounts. They’ll need your help classifying the expenses, especially at first, but as time goes on, QuickBooks will start making recommendations that you can simply accept.
At the end of the month, your ProAdvisor will reconcile the transactions in your QuickBooks accounts to your actual bank and credit card statements to identify any discrepancies. These monthly reconciliations are the heart of any good bookkeeping system and ensure that your books are complete and accurate. Once all the accounts are reconciled, your ProAdvisor will provide you with financial statements including a balance sheet and a profit and loss (P&L) statement.
Under a monthly service plan, you can meet with your ProAdvisor virtually to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding your books or how to use QuickBooks Online. There’s no limit on the amount of time you can spend with your bookkeeper per month, but you’re only allowed to schedule one appointment at a time. Most users meet with their bookkeepers once or twice a month.
You can read our full review of QuickBooks Live for additional information on the features and processes of their service.
Quickbooks Live Pricing
QuickBooks Live charges a one-time fee of $500 to help set up your QuickBooks Online account and update your books. After that, the monthly bookkeeping fee varies depending on your average monthly expenses over the prior three months:
Average Monthly Expenses
Less than $25,000
$25,001 to $150,000
More than $150,000
What QuickBooks Live Does Not Do
The QuickBooks Live service is limited to importing your bank and credit card transactions, reconciling your accounts, providing financial statements, and helping you to learn to use QuickBooks. There are still several important tasks that you’ll need to do on your own:
- Manage customer invoices: You’ll be in charge of issuing invoices to your customers and assigning customer payments to the proper invoices when received.
- Manage and pay bills: QuickBooks Live will record your expenses as they clear your bank or credit card account, but you’re still responsible for actually making the payment. You may also want to record bills when you receive them so that QuickBooks Online can keep track of how much you owe each vendor and when it’s due.
- Payroll: QuickBooks Live doesn’t provide any payroll services. However, you can enroll in QuickBooks Payroll for an additional cost.
- Sales tax payments and filings: QuickBooks Online has a great sales tax function for collecting and remitting sales tax as well as filing the return but you’ll need to learn to do this yourself.
- Income tax filing: You’ll need to work with a separate income tax preparer to file a tax return. However, the process should be simple since you can invite them to view your QuickBooks Online account as an Accountant User, and your books will be clean and up-to-date.
We have 46 Free QuickBooks Online Tutorials to help you learn to use QuickBooks to bill your customers and pay your bills, plus many other great features. Your ProAdvisor will help you understand your financial statements but cannot provide any further financial or business advice. They also cannot provide tax advice.
While QuickBooks Live doesn’t completely relieve you of your bookkeeping burden, it does make sure the heart of your bookkeeping is sound and up-to-date by importing transactions, reconciling accounts, and printing financial statements. At only $200 per month for small businesses with less than $300,000 in annual expenses, it’s a bargain that won’t only provide you with more reliable financial statements but should also save you time and money on your tax return preparation.